Training & Racing Update – Week 3

I’m still recovering from the sprained ankle but I’m excited about my run/bike streak. While it’s really a walk/bike streak right now. As soon as I can run, which I am hoping in a week, it will be a rightful run/bike streak.

My walks are typically around Concord, trying to walk a different street each day. The cover image above is Merrimack Street. I love the big houses and front lawns on this street.

Here was a sign near the high school that made me smile. I really like the plants in the logs.

The weather is finally getting a bit warmer and that is good. I hope to ride the tri bike this afternoon.

The bad news: Rock Hopper Chocorua Race, IM Mont Tremblant, – canceled. And I learned today that Mark’s Ironman Santa Rosa was canceled, too. Bummer.

Good News: White Mountain TriRagged Mountain Stage Race,  Gunstock Trailfest – still on as of today. So we just go about our days and make the best of the situation. We get up, we work hard, we get outside and love the one were with.

2020 Reboot, New Training Plan

January started out pretty good. Training, Life, Work. 

February was tough. Seasonal depression, cold, snow. Training was tough. Life was tough. Work was good. 1 out of 3 isn’t too bad.

March was okay. I adopted the perfect dog. The pandemic hit. I worked from home. Training was okay then the YMCA closed.  I lost momentum for all the above reasons.

April was much like March: work from home, walk the dogs, run or bike when it didn’t rain. No training plan. Races canceled. 

It’s time for a 2020 reboot. It’s time to get on a plan; to train for something. 

I’m turning my A race to the Mid State Massive in Massachusetts in October.

This week’s training schedule.

While I still am registered for five other races, my most important goal in 2020 is to finish a 100 mile race. Okay, truth: and to finish an Ironman. Oh yes, another truth: to complete the 3-day stage race. 

But if everything gets canceled, I’m still hoping, and will start training tomorrow, for the October 2020 100 mile race

But hopefully these races happen: Rock Hopper Chocorua Race, White Mountain Tri, Ragged Mountain Stage Race, IM Mont Tremblant, Gunstock Trailfest.

I hope all these races happen.

I’m going to do what I told myself I was going to do in 2019. This was my Leadville 100 mantra that I had to start using at mile 20. It didn’t work in 2019 but I have a feeling it might just work in 2020.

Katie Arnold
– Katie Arnold, winner of the 2019 Leadville 100

Swimming, My History, YMCA Values

The 4 pillars or values of the YMCA: Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Caring.

I’ve been staring at these values while swimming laps at YMCAs across the country since 1988. I started swimming in 1988 after graduating from high school and wanting to get in shape during the week to hike NH’s mountains on the weekends. I swam early mornings at the Portsmouth, NH YMCA pool for years. I remember the lifeguard and the “regulars” like it was yesterday; I’m so old!

Many years later, when I moved to Granby, Colorado I remember swimming and seeing the pillars, Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Caring in front of me at the beginning of each lap while swimming at Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA. I look to my right, framed perfectly in the windows, the Rocky Mountains. It was great training swimming laps at 8,000 feet at Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA. I smile at the thought of those mountains.

Snow Mountain Ranch pool in Granby, CO.

When I lived in Tucson the YMCA pool was outside, and I don’t recall seeing the pillars posted anywhere. However, I do remember how wonderful the sun felt year-round on my body as I swam laps at their magnificent pool preparing for Ironman Texas and Wisconsin during the three years I lived there. 

Look at that view from the Northwest Tucson YMCA outdoor pool!

Now, I live in Concord, NH and as I kicked with fins I stared at the 4 pillars in front of me and it reminds me of all these places I’ve trained and all the truly wonderful places I’ve lived in. I’m blessed.

Concord NH YMCA pool

I haven’t swam in a few weeks and needed to get back into the pool since I need to 1) cross train for the ultras I’m running this year and 2) prepare for Ironman Mont Tremblant in 25 weeks.

Swimming just feels good. I’m starting out with 1,200 yards in 30 minutes doing all the strokes and using the kick board. I will gradually work in speed and endurance.

Training for ultra races and Ironman just make everything right in my world. Even with all the crap going on in the world, life is better when I can figure out 30 minutes in water. 

Happy Monday. Make it great today. It’s all a crap shoot. It’s all just a crap shoot.

Is Rock Climbing good cross training for runners

On Friday night I decided to find out if rock climbing is good cross training for ultra running. I have been lifting weights and doing pull ups for three months so I thought I would be strong. It was hard but fun!

I went to Vertical Dreams in Manchester for my first ever indoor rock climbing. It was so fun! I learned how to tie a rope and belay. Then started climbing with Tom.

Two days later, my forearms are a bit sore. Three months of weight training and pull ups helped, a little.

I think indoor rock climbing could make me stronger, and I could incorporate it into a regular plan, maybe. LOL

This week was a recovery week and after my dark day on Saturday, yes that is a thing, I’m full steam ahead to Ironman, 100 Miles and Ragged Mountain Stage Race.

I swam today. After running 10 indoor miles I swam. I’m so ready for Ironman Training.

What’s my Goal? Improve, Finish. Revel.
All of these things.

Life is hard, fun, brutal, sad, laughable, challenging. I want things to be easy and they never are. I’m up for the challenge. I want it all. I am Wonder Woman.

Trying all things

I love this quote from Charlotte Bronte. I had this quote on my refrigerator in almost all the houses I’ve lived in the last ten years. It reminds me that I need to keep trying, keep searching to find the best people, the best places, and to not give up or settle for second best in anything I do.

Last year was good but this year it going to be epic. 100 miles. 3-Day Stage Race. Ironman. 4,000 Footers.